About this project
"It is less likely for a woman to become a Chef today than a CEO." Bloomberg News, Based on statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor
Women have made historic strides in the workforce over the last few decades. We've had multiple female Secretary of States, a record number of female CEOs of Fortune 500 companies and international superstars, with the likes of Beyonce and her declaration: "Girls Rule the World."
Even with all the progress, the gender inequality gap is still a startling reality across industries, especially those typically dominated by men. For instance, women CEO's of the S&P 500 Companies make up a mere 4.8%
- 19% Women in Engineering
- 20% Congressional Seats held by Women
- 25% Women in Computing Technologies
One of the more striking male dominated industries, where the inequality gap is perhaps the MOST PREVALENT, is within the CULINARY world.
15% of Executive Chefs are Women
A stark irony when compared to the longstanding tradition within households — across cultures — where women have always been the central character in the kitchen.
Yet the transition from household to professional kitchen has been painfully lacking. Why?
That is what our documentary intends to explore.
We'll examine the roadblocks and circumstances that are keeping women from (wo)manning the great restaurant kitchens of today. We'll look into why there isn't a single U.S. female top Michelin Star Chef. Or why today's all-time high female enrollment at culinary schools across the country has yet to have an impact on the staggering gender gap at the executive chef level.
To shed light on these topics we will spotlight the most renowned women chefs and restaurateurs from across the country, and get their perspectives on the current state of women in the culinary world and what the future can look like.
Our documentary will focus on the story of a woman who represents what is in fact possible, a woman who has challenged the imbalance and shattered perceptions and roles. She embodies the classic American story — the self-made successful underdog, chef and restaurateur Valerie James.
Most fondly known as Val, she's a single mother who pursued her dream of opening and running her own restaurant, even with all the cards stacked against her.
These shared experiences can collectively motivate a new generation of women to follow in their culinary calling.
The heat is on. Help us get cooking!
Director, Joanna James:
“I really enjoyed watching many of the food docs that have been flooding the market over the last couple years, but I noticed that not one featured any women restaurateurs or chefs. I think of how I was raised by strong women who were so loving and nurturing —the greatest role models teaching me to do what I love and give it my all. By providing more media and film exposure on women in the culinary industry, we're teaching young women they too can make a career out of their talent and passion instead of holding back. A homemade meal has always brought my family together whether at the restaurant sitting at booth 5, or at home for the holidays — and with this documentary we hope to unite even more people around good food prepared by courageous women.”
Joanna has combined her love for journalism and food into making a feature length documentary on topics worth exploring, women she admires, in particularly her very own mother whom she is so proud to travel this film making process with. Additionally, Joanna holds a Master's Degree in International Communication and Media with a focus on film production from Lynn University. After graduation, Joanna worked in various capacities of production, writing and development. Joanna is co-founder of Aliana Productions, an independent film, television and multimedia productions company out of New York City.
Executive Producer, Anastasia Ganias:
"I am just so exhilarated by the group of tastemakers we have interviewed so far and all the other ridiculously talented lady chefs we are including in this spectacular piece. I learned everything I know about cooking and conscious food choices from many special woman in my life who's recipes and food philosophies go way, way back-- in my culture hospitality is seen as both a pleasure and a responsibility-- both usually carried out by the women. To me it only makes sense that we would continue to let women enrich our lives with their knowledge and skill in the kitchen, and they should receive the accolades they deserve. By following this creed and deciding to make this film it is to empower the new generation of women."
As a vehicle for Anastasia to produce films in addition to acting, she started Aliana Productions in 2014 with business partner Joanna James. From as far back as she can remember Anastasia felt at home on stage. As a teen, she graced the stage in Shakespearean productions and took part in musical theater, which paved the way for her course of studies in classical theater at Suffolk University. In addition to her theatrical work, Anastasia has a number of television credits, in which some of her favorite include: Dexter, Parks and Recreation, Party Down, Desperate Housewives, CSI: New York, and a recurring role in HBO's True Blood. You may have also seen her brilliant turn as the office tart "Claire" in the award winning indie comedy Missed Connections. Anastasia is co-founder of Aliana Productions, an independent film, television, and multimedia production company out of New York City.
Russell Greene is a film editor and director based in Brooklyn, NY. From 2004 to 2012, he was editing partner with veteran documentary film editor, Angelo Corrao. Russell has edited eight feature films as well as numerous short films, commercials, web series and branded content films. He also edited all 60 episodes of the acclaimed web series MADE HERE. In addition to editing, he also wrote and directed the award-winning short film, Easy Street, which won Best Film at the Queens World FF, Nevada FF, Asheville Cinema Festival, Real To Reel FF, Fort Myers Beach FF and the Ferndale FF. Some of his credits include:
• Famous Nathan (2014 Tribeca Film Festival, Best Film Award Coney Island FF)
• Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction (Venice FF, SXSW, LA FF, IDFA, Edinburgh FF, 92% on rottentomatoes.com)
• Ordinary Miracles (Directed by Academy Award nominee Nina Rosenblum, 83% on rottentomatoes.com)
• Hungry is the Tiger (Indonesian film about the world hunger crisis)
• Patti Smith: Dream of Life (Sundance Award for Cinematography, Emmy nominee)
• Nerakhoon: The Betrayal (Emmy Award, Academy Award nominee)
Katy Jordan is a cinematographer, writer and editor living in Boston. She primarily works in media and documentary film. A former print reporter for the Boston Herald, she is an award-winning multimedia journalist whose stories have ranged from crime to lifestyle to politics -- she has covered local and national political races, including the 2012 presidential campaign. Her work has been featured on local and national media outlets, including the Christian Science Monitor, Huffington Post and Storyhunter. She has a master's degree in journalism from Emerson College, where she currently serves as an adjunct professor of journalism.
Max Osswald is an award winning, multi-platform entertainment producer, creator and entrepreneur with 10+ years of experience developing content for networks and brands, from Food Network and the History Channel to Izze Sodas and Delta Airlines. In 2010 he co-founded National Picture Show Entertainment (NPSE), which is currently a finalist for a 2015 James Beard Foundation Broadcast Media. He is currently and executive producer and managing member responsible for leading new business development, operations and production as well as creating, developing and pitching programming across commercial, film, digital and on-air platforms. A self-starter with a reputation for hands-on collaboration and straight shooting, Max has a passion for identifying and nurturing talent. He has a proven track record of business development, doubling revenues at NPSE every fiscal year since the company was founded. He has produced multiple films, securing a range of distribution deals from theatrical, to cable to straight to DVD.
- Women Chef and Restaurateurs
- James Beard
- Culinary Institute of America
- Les Amis d'Escoffier Society
We are in the homestretch with production, but now in the second phase of filming these incredible chefs across the country, travel and a film crew are major expenses. We have already successfully shot principal photography at 6 locations throughout New England, Miami and New York. The money we raise on Kickstarter will cover the remaining costs of production and segue into post production, mostly editing conducted by a Tribeca Film Festival award winning editor who is extremely AWESOME, including some of the following costs:
- Archival Footage
- Awesome Rewards for the GREATEST Supporters EVER!
- Sound Finishing
- Original Score
- Color Correction, HD Master
- Titles and Graphics
- Film Festival Submission & Travel
- Public Relations
- Press Kits, Posters and Promotions
- Legal Fees & Insurance
Risks and challenges
With every film project there are of course risks and challenges throughout the process. The most intricate challenge is completion and delivery of the film. Sometimes factors beyond our control come into play that may cause unforeseen delays. While it is our sincere desire and goal to have this film finished and ready to send out by Early 2016, at this point we cannot GUARANTEE this date. However, because you will be so connected with the project and our timeline you will be the first to know about any changes and will receive constant updates on the schedule and progress we are making.
Since we are so far along in completing the film, we face fewer risks than many films seeking funding on Kickstarter. Once the money is raised we will be able to move full-speed ahead to go into post-production work and then head straight for the film festivals.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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